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Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

  1. #1
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes


    So after my wonderful trip to the Smoky Mountains and my buddy's purchase of a Tiger 800 XCA, I've been seriously considering trading my not so reliable sportbike-turned-naked-tourer in for a full fledged adventure/ST bike. The wife and I made the trip over to both National Powersports and Freedom Cycle to check out the offerings, and I've been doing a lot of research to see what people think of each of the adventure-y/sport touring bikes.

    I think what I've decided from my brief research is that I'd prefer something road oriented, but something that can do a bit of offroading comfortably too. I want to be able to ride up to the Adirondacks, explore and not have to turn around if we encounter an unimproved C6 road. A budget is not firm, but probably no more than $15,000 if I do pull the trigger.

    The bikes I've looked at and various thoughts:

    The vanilla offerings:
    • Kawasaki Versys 1000 - I loved the engine in my Z1000, and given that this is just a bored out Z1000 engine, I'm sure I'd love it. Comes with a lot of stuff off the showroom floor, but I'd need to load it up with about $1500 more in toys to get it where I want it. So let's say $14500. Only downsides is it's a bit heavy at 550lb, and is a sport-tourer primarily.
    • Yamaha FJ-09 - Seemed well loaded, powerful and light, pretty much a direct competitor to the Versys. Again, a sport-tourer, I don't know how it'd do on nasty dirt roads. I've read that it's buzzy and not as smooth as other bikes. Also read that it's awesome, so who knows.
    • V-Strom 650/1000 - The bread and butter sport-tourer/adventure bike. Everyone and their mother has one. My mom had the DL650 and although it was a decently comfortable ride, I kind of want something more powerful. Only problem is the V-Strom 1000 shares the same 20 year old engine my bike has, but doesn't gain much in the power/weight ratio. It seemed heavy for its purpose.
    • Super10 - Don't know much about this bike still, I've read more negative things about it than anything, i.e. that it was a let down. Seems expensive.
    • Africa Twin - Again, don't know much about it, but its not even out yet. Seems like a decent in-the-middle bike that'll need $2000 above sale price to round it out.

    The "exotics":
    • Tiger 800 XC/XR - Ticks a lot of the boxes, comes with lots of toys standard that some of the more expensive ones don't come with. Has just enough extra power to make it stand out above the middleweight adv bikes. Only problem is my buddy already bought one...it sounds silly but I want something different so we can swap rides on occasion.
    • Multistrada - Checks off a lot of the touring oriented boxes, but is again sport-touring oriented. It's also very expensive.
    • 1190 Aventure - I have an unnatural drawing to this bike. Beautiful, plenty of power, starts relatively inexpensive although will probably take an extra $2000 to get it where I want it. Seems like the perfect compromise between sport-touring and adv. Only thing holding me back is reliability...I've never owned a KTM, to me they're "exotic" in that I don't know what to expect for quirkiness. Many people are happy with them from what I've seen.


    Thoughts/experiences/comments?

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    Last edited by SRTie4k; 04-21-16 at 08:50 AM.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    1290 Super Adventure. It should be on your list. If you are planning to stick more road oriented, this is the brutal sex fest your pastor warned you about.

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  3. #3
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    [*]Tiger 800 XC/XR - Ticks a lot of the boxes, comes with lots of toys standard that some of the more expensive ones don't come with. Has just enough extra power to make it stand out above the middleweight adv bikes. Only problem is my buddy already bought one...it sounds silly but I want something different so we can swap rides on occasion.
    [

    maybe just get a different color? the faster color?

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    hmmmm......

  4. #4
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    I like my hyperstrada 821 for this duty. It's a middleweight on steroids. Can be ridden supermoto style, backing in to every tight corner, or sporttouring, and it even hadles offroad quite well compared to the behemoths in the ADV category.

    It's not for everyone. Fairly aggressive bike for what it is.

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  5. #5
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    1290 Super Adventure. It should be on your list. If you are planning to stick more road oriented, this is the brutal sex fest your pastor warned you about.
    As much as I lust after the SA, I think the only way I'll ever have the remotest chance at a new bike is if I set my budget at the max of $15k.

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  6. #6
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    C6? What's that?

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  7. #7
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Class 6 or unmaintained road.

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  8. #8
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    The 2014 Vstrom 1000 supposedly is miles ahead of the old 1000, while still feeling small like the 650. I'm leaning towards replacing my FZ6 with a DL650 for more long-distance comfort.
    From the Versys/Vstrom comparisons I've read, the Versys is more towards the sport side, while the Vstrom is more towards the touring side.
    The FJ9 looks neat, but I've noticed in some pics that there's not much room between the riders pegs and the passenger's pegs, especially if you add luggage behind the passengers pegs. If you do 2-up, that would get annoying.
    Yamaha just debuted their new FZ7-based tourer Yamaha MT-7 Tracer debuts

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Are you buying new (seems so?) or used?

    The Dl650A is around $10,000, the DL1000 Adventure $14,000, and the BMW R1200 GSA starts at $18,695 and can run well over $20,000.

    By contrast, the Yamaha Super Tenere' is selling used for less than $10K. And Burnham's Tiger 1050 is $5,400, with bags.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 04-21-16 at 08:51 AM.
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  10. #10
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Budget is probably going to be capped at $15,000. I'm not dead set on buying new if I can find what I want used. Edited the original post to reflect.

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  11. #11
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    For that budget, I'd go Honda.

    If I was getting a DL (either 650 or 1k), I'd go used. You could get one already setup with all the goodies for $5k.

    Just rode my Wee into work today. It just does everything so "good enough". With the Russel Day Long, Caribou Cases, Givi Windscreen and PR4's, she's quite good at sport touring.

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    Class 6 or unmaintained road.
    Some of those are glorified goat paths. Not anything you'd be happy riding anything but a long travel adv bike with good knobs and skid plates, and a 21" front wheel.
    A giant dirtbike, if you will.

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  13. #13
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Some of those are glorified goat paths. Not anything you'd be happy riding anything but a long travel adv bike with good knobs and skid plates, and a 21" front wheel.
    A giant dirtbike, if you will.
    +1.

    You won't like any of those bikes on a Class 6 road. Heavy/expensive/big.

    I've done it on a KLR650, which is more of a dirtbike than any of those, and it was still not ideal.

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  14. #14
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Bear in mind I wouldn't be aiming for class 6 roads in particular. Those are really the fringe case scenario. I'm basically trying to shift from where I am now, i.e. dirt roads in general are sketchy on my current bike, to something that will handle road and dirt roads competently, and the unimproved stuff is the sketchy stuff (although it'll still do it with enough bravery/stupidity).

    Essentially something that feels at home on tarmac, dirt and gravel without going full bore dirt bike.

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    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Any of those bikes will do just fine.

    I'd still say Honda AT.

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  16. #16
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    The at looks like a pretty well rounded package on paper. Ask Colin how he likes his in about 15yrs when he finally buys one.
    Bam!!

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  17. #17
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    The at looks like a pretty well rounded package on paper. Ask Colin how he likes his in about 15yrs when he finally buys one.
    Bam!!
    Lol. I actually typed something similar but figured I'd leave rippin on Bub's indecisiveness out of at least ONE thread this year.

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  18. #18
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    I've been pretty quiet lately, I took an easy shot.

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  19. #19
    Senior Member Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    Budget is probably going to be capped at $15,000. I'm not dead set on buying new if I can find what I want used. Edited the original post to reflect.
    Buy three Tiger 1050s. Different colors in case you get bored easily.

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  20. #20
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    If you are also looking at middleweights below $15,000, you should probably look at the BMW F800GS's. They are pretty well sorted-out now.

    I've seen Class 6 roads you could ride a Gold Wing down, and ones that are sporty on a WR250R. Ya never know. In NH I like to set the GPS to "shortest route" and it will often take you on dirt roads.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    Lol. I actually typed something similar but figured I'd leave rippin on Bub's indecisiveness out of at least ONE thread this year.
    Our sales staff refers to the phenomenon as "Non supportive buy cycle."

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    Last edited by Garandman; 04-21-16 at 09:44 AM.
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  21. #21
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    If my Tiger were totalled today I'd be looking at another one. Great all around bikes. Plenty of fun and power to be had when you want to wick it up. They're more than capable of corner speeds that are in arrest me territory and with those tires on you can have stability on the dirt roads as well.

    The only other bike I would potentially consider as a replacement is the Africa Twin. The rest are all just meh to me.

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  22. #22
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    What about the BMW S1000XR? I guess for the price you can get a Multi though.

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  23. #23
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    My ears are burning.

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  24. #24
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    If my Tiger were totalled today I'd be looking at another one. Great all around bikes. Plenty of fun and power to be had when you want to wick it up. They're more than capable of corner speeds that are in arrest me territory and with those tires on you can have stability on the dirt roads as well.
    This is exactly how I feel about my DL650. It impresses no one and is often the but of many jokes. But it just does everything so damned well. Truly the modern UJM.

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  25. #25
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on adventure/ST bikes

    Anyone have experience with KTMs in particular?

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